Hmm... I was going to say that I haven't seen an aikido school that focused that much on the fluffy bits, but then I realized that it's probably the result of my own selection. I tend to be suspicious of martial arts schools that pay great attention to "esoteric" things because I think that it ends up being mostly bullshit and their students can't actually do things. At least that's how it usually works for the American suburban-mall schools -- my approach would be different in Hong Kong or Singapore. In places like NYC/LA/SF, well, my impression is that it's possible to find senseis/sifus who know what they are talking about, but the default "fluffy bits" school still isn't the place to go to.

To be fair, I haven't seen many of them. They exist, but I don't think they tend to be very successful in the West; there's a market for martial arts steeped in mystical fluff, but the Omoto-kyo Shintoism that the more esoteric aikido branches are rooted in is deeply weird even by Japanese standards, and it doesn't fit particularly well with the watered-down holism-and-wellness narrative that Western students who're so inclined tend to expect.

The branch of aikido I'm most familiar with is Yoshinkan, which is one of the earlier, harder ones.

Open thread, Apr. 01 - Apr. 05, 2015

by MrMind 1 min read31st Mar 2015180 comments


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